Magnitude of Error in Dual Task Performance

Senior (College 4th year) ・Healthcare&Medicine ・APA ・1 Sources

Psychologically, psychological refractory period implies to the time when a second stimulus experience slow processing because the first stimulus is being processed. The research sought to discover the significance of task 1 and the magnitude of error in performance using Psychological Refractory Period denoted as (PRP).  PRP is a standard research tool applicable in the determination of the stimulus differential in dual tasks performance. In the paradigm, the components of the tasks are presented in first and second (Task 1 and Task 2) denoted by variables called the stimulus onset asynchronies (SOAs) and the preference given to the processing of task 1. The significant indicator of the failure of PRP conditions is represented with the decreasing SOAs and the respective increasing in Task 2 rate. The research assumes that the processing of Task 2 is not affected by the actions in Task 1. The research review will demonstrate how the error data has been under-presented in the previous studies for RT presentation and analyses.

Background and Introduction

A significant number of researchers involving the error data and the RT statistically showed that there is an inverse relationship between the impairment of Task 1 and the SOA. Therefore, such studies did not adhere to the assumptions that  actions of Task 1 are not affected by any bottlenecks and processes of Task 2 in the situation of PRP dual-task performance. Ultimately, this stimulated the call for careful analyses and reporting of PRP researches considering the bottlenecks additions and the theories of independent processing of Task 1. 

Methodology Summary

The first step was to search peer-reviewed literature papers in the mental health and behavioral sciences via the indexing and abstracting keywords (PsycINFO) database on17th May 2013. We used the search term “PRP” that resulted in 291 entries that we excluded the clinical papers, modeling studies, dissertations abstracts, book chapters and non-English articles. The exclusion process eliminated 133 studies that comprise of approximately 306 experiments.

Results Section

In this section, we focused on the articles that presented the Task 1’s error data vs. the RTs in figure, /graphs or tables. The second step involved choosing and reporting the studies that did the inferential analyses (statistical analyses of variance and deviations) on the RTs and the error rate of each task. Thirdly, we embarked on reviewing the studies that focused on decreasing the performance while increasing the SOA. That is, raising both RTs and error rates in Task 1 at the same time.

Out of 306 experiments found in the 133 studies, the numbers and percentages of RTs and error data were fed in tables (1), figures (2), and both tables and figures (3) respectively. Where Task 1 results were recorded in Figure/ Table (1) and the analyses done in (3). The PRP studies in the tables gave a recommended results with 181 (59.2%) against 97 (45.3%) of all the 306 experiments in Task 1 recorded no error data. On the other hand, only 92 (30.1%) and 8 (6.4%) of all trials with error data presented no RTs data. The study qualified the claims of underrepresentation of error data concerning RTs in the dual-task studies.

Discussion and Conflict of Interests

The review noted that the number of researches showed a low comparison of entire PRP analyzed data against the number of task orders done, therefore, should not deny us from concluding that in PRP dual-task performance the decreasing Task 1 RTs decreases the SOA. The result is not consistent with the theories of unaffected Task 1 and bottlenecks. This certifies for the inclusion of bottleneck assumptions in explaining the Task 2 and Task 1 effects. The author concluded that the research was conducted in a noncommercial and financial relationship hence would not involve in a conflict of interest.


Front. Psychol., 07 April 2015 |"

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